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Moody's reaffirms North Hempstead bond rating

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on March

North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset on March 5, 2012. Credit: Nicole Bartoline

The Town of North Hempstead has received an Aa1 rating from Moody's Investors Service.

The rating, announced earlier this month, reaffirms the town's highest bond rating. A bond rating measures an entity's credit risk.

Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said in a statement, "This endorsement from Moody's is evidence of the Town's commitment to sound financial practices and stringent fiscal controls."

"This bond rating means that we will retain our low interest costs on borrowing, while receiving the seal of approval that North Hempstead has a solid economic foundation and a strong fiscal future."

The agency cited the town's "conservative budgeting," which it expects to support "healthy operating performance and maintenance of a strong financial position, despite reported softening of the regional real estate market."

The town benefits from a large, wealthy tax base with "ample local employment opportunities" and easy commuter access to New York City, agency officials said.

Aaa rated bonds are considered the highest quality, with minimal credit risk, according to the agency. Aa1 is just below Aaa, according to the agency.

The rating could improve with "continued healthy financial operations that are structurally balanced and result in augmentation of reserves in step with budgetary growth."

The rating could fall if the town fails to maintain balanced operations and operating reserves and liquidity erodes.

Moody's has concurrently affirmed the Aa1 rating and stable outlook on $161 million of previously issued, long-term general obligation debt, the agency said in a statement.

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